Our Teachers

Gloria Witters is our beloved 3's and 4's teacher and Megan Rettenmaier is our amazing 1's and 2's teacher. To learn more about them, please read their bios below.

Teacher Gloria

Hi! I'm Teacher Gloria and I've been teaching here at Burien Co-op Preschool since 1991—from a cavernous church basement to the wonderful school we have today. There is a magic to this place. Every day when I open the door, everything else in the world just seems to melt away. I can almost hear the laughter from the hundreds of children who have passed through here.

 

I adopted a philosophy long before starting here at Burien and have never wavered for a moment, embracing it fully and passionately. It is difficult to sum up a philosophy in a short paragraph—there is so much to say about how children learn and grow—so to give you an idea of this passion that has filled me for so many years, I will make the following statements about what I believe children need:

 

  • Learning should be fun—never stressful or constricting.

  • The child is the curriculum. Children should be free to explore activities that interest them.

  • Children should be heard, listened to and validated.

  • Children need time. Children need space.

  • Children need "too much".

  • Children need repetition—practice, practice, practice—until they become masters!

  • Children need to take risks in order to grow.

  • Children need to tinker.

  • We are not preparing children for anything. We are here, now, today.

  • Children need to have real experiences, relevant to the child's interests.

  • Children cannot be ready before they are ready. All children develop in their own time.

  • Trust children. Have faith in the process.

  • Childhood is not a competition.

  • Creativity is just as important as literacy to the growing child.

  • Every child deserves respect and deserves to be loved.

  • All children need a sense of belonging.

 

Teacher Megan

Hello! I’m Teacher Megan and I’m completely honored to be a part of the BCP family. I started at Burien Co-Op as a parent and immediately connected with the philosophy of the school. It’s magic. A place to slow down, be reminded of how much fun it is to be a kid, and make meaningful connections with other families.

 

I’m mom to two-year-old Delilah and four-year-old Owen. We are nature lovers, animal lovers, food lovers, and avid gardeners. I graduated with a Theatre degree from Florida State University, but swiftly shifted to working with kids in various forms for the last 11 years. Kids are my favorite company. They feel their feelings without judging them first (I’m sure you’ve noticed!), observe the tiny details we adults filter out, and find joy in the everyday. Pretty much everything I strive to do.

I believe that kids are born learners. Rather than “teaching” toddlers, I believe they thrive when given the space and freedom to fully explore their surroundings, make gigantic messes, get frustrated, be noisy, and use objects in whatever way inspires them (You see a spatula for cooking, they see a paint smacker). I believe in offering kids real objects to explore, textures to feel, squeeze, smear, and pour. I believe a Toddler room should be a “YES” space. Short of destruction, there is no wrong way to play. I believe in slowing down when we can. Doing the toddler mosey. Taking a hike in the woods that results in spending an hour at the same puddle. Observing and listening with our toddlers more than we speak. Letting them lead the play.

 

I massively believe in outdoor/nature learning. Nature is medicine for the brain and the heart. It’s a full curriculum of science, art, math, and language. I’m a huge fan of bringing elements of nature into play, even when we can’t be outdoors and I have yet to meet a toddler who passes up an opportunity to play with rocks and sticks.

 

Lastly, my passion for kiddos is only matched by my desire to help families create their village. If I’ve learned anything from becoming a mother 2,000 miles from your nearest family member, it’s that parenting can he intense, lonely, and challenging in ways we couldn’t have expected. I’m such a fan of the Co-Op structure of preschool because everyone raising tiny humans can benefit from being around others going through the same exact phase of life. People who won’t bat an eye when you confide in them, to ask “is it weird that my kid does this?” and more likely than not, create lasting friendships. 

 

I’m so excited to meet you and your little ones!